need help with decision.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bigal, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. bigal

    bigal LawnSite Member
    from wv
    Posts: 26

    im looking to buy a hustler fastrak with 44 inch cut. a local dealer has a demo 16/44 honda with about 5 hours on it for $4000. i can get a new 18/44 honda from him for $4699. the demo has a few scrapes on the side of the deck. i rode it and cut with it last night, but it has been ridden by a few others since this is the mower that the dealer takes to people to try out. im also worried about the engine size. is the 2 horsepower on the honda's that big of a difference? will it affect pulling hills or any other aspect of mowing? just need some advise. money is a big factor, but if i finance it through hustler, i can get either one for no payment/no interest until april. thanks guys.
     
  2. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 339

    If this is for a business I would get the Fast Trak. The warrenty doesn't cover anything if you use the Fast Trak for a business. The Hydros on a Fast Trak aren't made for the rigors of commercial mowing. You would probably have to buy new pumps anyways. I would get something commercial grade with atleast 20 hp. I have a 19 hp and wish I would've gotten more horses when I'm cutting the thick stuff. Also, you said money was an issue. And that payments would start in April...How are you going to make payments in April if you can't now?
     
  3. bigal

    bigal LawnSite Member
    from wv
    Posts: 26

    mad wrestler thanks for the reply. im actually leaning towards the 18/44 now but still not sure. its not that i cant make the payments now, but mowing slows down and stops soon, so my extra cashflow will soon stop and i looked at it as hustler giving me a mower for free over the winter. why not get the mower now and try to get used to it before the start of next season was how i looked at it. it will be used for a business next season. i have heard about the hydro's only getting 1500 hrs if you are lucky vs the 3000 hours on the commercial. do you have the 19/44 kawasaki? how is it besides not enough in heavy grass? thanks.
     
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    bigal, remember ya get what ya paid for!!!! Why not save up a little and get the commercial model next season?
     
  5. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 339

    I decided against the Hustler. The dealer here was a jerk. I went with an ExMark. Glad I did because the Hustler dealer went under. What you said worried me though. "So my extra cash flow will soon stop and i looked at it as hustler giving me a mower for free over the winter. why not get the mower now and try to get used to it before the start of next season was how i looked at it." That isn't too business minded....wait a minute, don't take that the wrong way. You have got to make your dollars work for you now, not later. Nothing is for free. Sure it will pay for itself in the Spring and summer but if cash flow is a problem, invest in something that will make money now. Don't jump into it. See what I mean? Be certain! Also, you will be surprised how quick you will get used to whatever machine you get. As for the Hydros, the dealer told me 700-800 hours. Remember 700-800 hours for a homeowner is an eternity. For us, that is only about 2 years. In the Lawn Maintenance biz, your equipment is what makes you money. Don't over extend yourself, but do get commercial grade. In my situation a 48 inch deck was all I needed. The best decision I made. Only two props that we can't get into and we have nothing over 2 acres. Works out great. I plan on another 48 in but with more hp for next season and a Wb. Also here is a piece of advice I want to pass on that another LCO gave me he said grow into my equipment rather than out of it. So, I buy my guys quality "commercial grade" stuff. And then take care of it every week. I did extensive research on mowers, along with talking with local LCOs and Lawnsite people before making my decision. Use due diligence. This is a big important decision. Good luck. I will help as best that I can. Hope this helps.
     
  6. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 339

    What I meant was I would NOT get the Fast Trak
     
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Bigal, for less than 2 grand more than the price you have now you can go with the commercial grade 44-48 deck and a 19HP engine. You will be happy that you spent the extra money for the commercial. Believe me, I learned this the hard way! Ive seen folks on here get a Toro for around 5900 and my JD 717 was around 5800. Go with the commercial!
     
  8. bigal

    bigal LawnSite Member
    from wv
    Posts: 26

    thanks guys, ive been grinding this in my head all night and talking with the wife about it. im kind of leaning towards the commercial 19/44 for $6099. yeah, its more money up front, but if the hydros last that much longer and the warranty is that good on the hustlers, plus all the little stuff, im sure it will be better in the long run. plus what mad wrestler said is true, you get what you pay for. i was going to go bigger, but i only want to do residential and a 44"deck is plenty big enough. plus, i would have to buy a different trailer then. i think i will go with the 19/44, not sure if now, or wait until next season. guess it depends on prices, will they go up?
     
  9. mad_wrestler

    mad_wrestler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 339

    Nah you should be Ok. The 06's may be a little more, but I'm sure that they will still have some 05's for you to purchase. Good luck.
     
  10. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    The 44 or 48 is the perfect size for residentual. I now have 2 60,s and I wish every day that I had kept my 717 with the 48 inch deck, have picked up several with dang gated yards and have to use the Sabre on them. Next year Im affraid the price might go up because of the gas prices, then again they may not.
     

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